Mistake #3 You think of music like a chore

Music was never meant to be boring.

But for so many kids it is.

It’s full of boring scales, boring songs, and even more boring practices that feel like a dreaded chore they’d rather put off on someone else to do at home.

Week after week, they command greater bribes from you in exchange for less work. They start feeling chained to music lessons, mindlessly checking off their assignments – sulking when you remind them of their commitment.

After a while learning how to play an instrument starts to feel less like an educational opportunity and more like a prison sentence…for everyone involved.

And that’s a tragedy – one you can avoid.

GIVE THEM A REASON

Kids don’t do boring. When they’re bored, they quit.

Just because you want them to play, doesn’t mean they’re going to play. It’s not enough to hope they’ll play, hope they’ll love it someday, or hope they’ll practice without bribing or threatening them.

If you don’t give them a reason to keep playing, they’ll only go but so far.

All the toys in the world won’t keep them interested in music. The guilt tripping will only get you but so far. And unless you’re pulling some serious tiger mom tactics (the kind that will probably end up backfiring on you at some point), you’ll be dealing with a string of tug of war practices that will never end.

That doesn’t mean this all falls on you.

You are not solely responsible to inspire this huge amount of passion, dedication, and excitement they’ll need to develop for music if they want to keep playing.

You can’t do all of that alone. You’ll go crazy! No parent can do that. There are parents who try, but that never turns out well.

You’re going to need something more…

You’re Going To Need An Army

Music education is highly misunderstood by nearly everyone.

There’s this idea out there that learning music is something you do alone – in quiet – practicing songs forever in a little room over and over again until they’re perfect. And if you simply whisper the magic words, they’ll hole up in a corner and work tirelessly on a century old piece of music just for fun for hours on end.

After all, if they really wanted to learn how to play music they’d be doing that…right?

But music doesn’t work like that – it never has. In fact, the idea that music works and is fed to parents over and over again infuriates me.

Because it couldn’t be further from the truth – it’s a big fat lie.

If you want your child to get all the benefits from a music education, and milk those lessons for all they’re worth you need good people on your side – inspiring them  – every single step of the way.

I’m not just talking about a few people here. And I’m not talking about just a team…

You’re going to need an army.

You want to have them around tons of fantastic musicians, inspiring teachers, and phenomenal kids – all the time. Learning, observing, and interacting as much as you can manage – igniting their burning passion to learn more.

Not only does this keep them in music and keep them enjoying it, it lets you back off a little bit more.

Your Army Will Fight When You Can’t

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: You are not solely responsible to inspire the passion, dedication, and excitement for music.

You can encourage them, you can help them, and you can support them along the way.

But you cannot carry the burden of keeping them interested every day. It is not solely your responsibility to convince them to stay in music.

You will burn out. You will exhaust yourself. And your relationship with your child will suffer. Your army exists so you can let go.

Parents who keep great relationships with their kids and raise them to enjoy playing music have figured out this secret.

They put them in lessons with inspiring teachers who can connect with them. Then they listen to their advice, implement it at home, and let them know what’s working and what isn’t.

They listen to huge amounts of music – at home and in the car. They go along to exciting concerts and shows. They enroll them to play in groups, make friends in their studio, and travel to clinics and camps throughout the year.

They encourage them to play in their school and community. They get them involved in a symphony, band, or ensemble. Sometimes they let them compete. Sometimes they let them be silly and just play for fun. Sometimes they let them practice together with their friends.

They’ve learned when to let other people push them, inspire them, and encourage them. They keep it fun. They keep it light. And they always keep them moving.

This passionate army they’ve built full of teachers, musicians, and kids always keeps music exciting. And when the road gets tough, progress plateaus, and practices get hard, this army fights for your child, even when you can’t.

We Will Fight Together

Fighting the war on music boredom won’t just fall all on you – it’s going to be fought by all of us.

Each and every solider in your camp will suit up and prepare for battle. All of us will form an unbreakable line, taking positions, and getting ready to carry your child through whatever comes – when you can’t anymore.

We’re going to slay boring scales, boring songs, and boring practices. Once we’re strong, bribes will have nothing on us. We’re young and old, small and tall, and we’re going to come from all corners of the world – rallied by your battle call.

You won’t feel alone anymore because we’ll all be standing beside you – fighting for your child together.

Ready to win.

I’ll talk to you soon,

Elizabeth

P.S.

Get here from a link from a friend?  This article is part 3 of a 7-part free email series on the mistakes you make getting your child to practice. Click here to get them all.